It’s nearly here! The food day of all food days!

Thanksgiving Day is a few days away. Currently, we are expecting 10-12 dinner guests. I could not be more thrilled! I am ever grateful that I will have an abundance of great food and cheer to share with family and friends.

One of our anticipated guests asked if she could bring the “dressing.”

I said yes, which was immediately followed by, “I assume you mean the stuffing?” We had a chuckle over the differentiation between stuffing and dressing. My family always called the bread mixture that was packed into the cavity of the turkey, stuffing. What didn’t fit into the turkey, was added to a baking dish, and even though it was served separately, we still called it stuffing.

My Texas-raised friend didn’t recall a difference between the mixture packed into the turkey or the mixture packed into a baking dish. It was all called dressing. We decided that in the end, while in the end, it didn’t make a difference, what one calls this bread mixture, depends on whether you say “y’all” or “you all”.

A bit of “googling” for dressing, landed me on several pages of recipes for dressings used for marinades and on salads.

I guess we know which side of the Mason-Dixon line google lies! More sleuthing did indeed confirm that mostly it does depend on whether you’re a Northerner or a Southerner which term is used. While it’s an accurate description, It seems southerners think “stuffing” is rather crass, and so the term “dressing” is preferred.

A little secret from this writer. I love snitching the crunchy pieces of stuffing off the top of the baking dish of stuffing! Yum! Yum!

Generally speaking, Southerners use cornbread and Northerners use white bread. My mother used homemade white bread that she cubed and dried. Other ingredients vary widely. I use whole wheat bread, onions, celery, Bell’s poultry seasoning (a New England tradition), vegetable broth, and butter.

Basic Stuffing Recipe

Yield: 3 qt dish (serves 8-12)

Prep Time: 1 hour 10 min.

Ingredients:

1/4 pound butter    2 cups diced onions     2 cups diced celery     1 Tbs Bell’s Seasoning      Salt and Pepper         3 cups poultry or vegetable broth     16 slices cubed dried bread

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and celery, Bell’s Seasoning, season with salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes – until soft.

Into a large bowl, add 16 cups cubed stale country white bread, then pour in the vegetable broth and the butter and veggies mixture. Toss together until combined and allow the bread to absorb the moisture.

Stuff the turkey and bake according to directions. OR transfer to a buttered 3-quart baking dish and dot with more butter. Cover and bake 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until golden, 20 more minutes.

Optional: To the first mixture of celery and onions, add 1/2 cup golden raisins or chopped apples.

 

Whether you prefer to say stuffing or dressing is not as important as making it delicious.

Friends, may we not be lonely on Thanksgiving Day or any day. May our lives be laden with abundancy. And may our hearts be filled daily with gratitude.